To become a successful freelance writer you must work hard, be disciplined, and have good time-management skills.
You also need to have the right knowledge about how to win high pay rates, market your services, and improve your writing skills. That’s what this page is all about.
Note: some links are affiliate links, which means I make money if you purchase the book or sign up for the service. I only recommend products and services I truly believe in, and you can get most of the books at your local library if cost is an issue for you.
Freelance Writing Membership Sites
There are several out there. I’ve been a moderator inside the Freelance Writers Den since it first opened its doors in 2011 and I’ve commented nearly 1800 times. Run by Carol Tice, the Den holds free weekly workshops/presentations, contains an extensive library of bootcamps, and has very active forums with dozens of comments a day and hundreds of threads.
Another good resource: About Writing Squared run by freelance writing veterans Lori Widmer and Anne Wayman.
Find High-Paying Niches and Markets
Writer’s Market is the key resource for most freelance writers. It describes pay rates for most types of writing, and it identifies many of the high-paying magazines and trade journals. Make sure you get the online version that allows you to search the extensive database (updated frequently). Also has loads of info about finding a traditional book publisher, plus good advice on how to succeed in your freelance career.
Peter Bowerman’s The Well-Fed Writer. Excellent information on everything you need to do to be successful as a freelance commercial writer = someone who writes for businesses. This is your best source for ensuring your success if you do any form of business writing.
Improve Your Marketing Skills
The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell. Very good advice for freelancers who want to target magazines and other periodicals. Also see The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters That Rock by the same authors.
The Well-Fed Writer mentioned above has detailed info about marketing your writing services to businesses.
Improve Your Writing Skills
You MUST learn the basics of grammar, punctuation, and style if you want to be successful in this business.
There are dozens of really good books that will help you. Find one that feels like a good fit and make sure you (1) read it, and (2) refer to it often, especially when you aren’t sure about something.
You can also get the answers to specific questions about grammar and punctuation by just putting your question into Google. Dozens of excellent sites have top-notch advice to set you straight.
Building Your Freelance Writer Website
A2 Hosting hosts ProductiveWriters.com and my other websites (all WordPress). I’ve had no problems with A2 Hosting and have been impressed with their customer service. One of my sites got hacked and they quickly fixed it, and they’ve been great about helping me out with many other ways to make my sites faster and more secure.
There are, of course, many thousands of hosting options. Whichever one you choose, make sure it has 24/7 phone support and an overall good reputation.
I use NameCheap to purchase domain names. The company has very low prices and reasonable service.
Need Personalized Help?
If you want to work with me one-on-one, see my coaching/mentoring for freelance writers page.